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Ulmarra Public School turns 125

Ulmarra Public School is celebrating its quasquicentennial (125th anniversary) this Friday and Saturday.
The school’s principal, Vanessa Cavanagh, said the event was “huge for a school like ours”, which has 57 students.
She said small schools provided “more family-orientated type of schooling”, than larger schools.
“All of the teachers and the children know one another,” she said.
“We have the same things to offer that bigger schools have, [however], I believe that the students get more leadership opportunities because of the smaller numbers.
“All of our students, from kindergarten up, get to lead assemblies and be involved in all different ways.
“It’s really good for peer teaching and support for the kids; we do a lot of things on a whole-of-school basis; it’s a really nice feel.
“There are so many small schools that have had to close and amalgamate with other schools.”
Past principals, Des Avery (1971 to 1994) and Sandra Armstrong (2003 to 2013) will be attending, among other invited guests.
Mr Avery had fond memories of his time at the school, when reflecting on the differences between large and small schools.
Before moving to Ulmarra, he was the principal of public schools at Sydney, Crookwell and Albury.
At Ulmarra, he said he “never found something out of place; they [the students] made sure it was always put back”.
“They were excellent, discipline wise – good country children,” he said.
He was fortunate; too, to be joined by his wife Marie (deceased).
“One of the interesting things was that my wife was appointed to a high school as a maths teacher when we brought our children here, of which we had six,” he said.
“That increased enrolments, so they decided to relocate Marie from South Grafton High School to Ulmarra.”
The school is holding a formal assembly, barbecue, games afternoon and cutting of the cake on Friday June 24 from 11am.
On Saturday, the school will be open from 10am to 2pm for visitors to look through classrooms and memorabilia displays.